Advantages of a Private Network in the COVID-19 Era

By Jordan Feigenbaum, Product Manager, IPC

Now, with the world changing so drastically and 2020 coming to a merciful end, revisiting this topic is paramount. Nimbleness and agility are more critical than ever, especially since many, including myself, are working from home. However, what hasn’t changed are the risks I spoke about that existed 22 months ago. When considering the situation from a different angle, one with the necessary push to work remotely, the risks perhaps have become more severe.

Amazon, who own nearly half the global public cloud market, has witnessed a surge in revenue, with a 56% year over year increase in operating income at AWS from the third quarter of 2019 to 2020. Google and Microsoft have been no slouches either. While the public cloud is flourishing, the outages that have happened in the past will only continue to happen in the future.

Most notably, Amazon Web Services recently experienced a widespread multi-hour outage in the United States on the day before Thanksgiving (3). Significantly for our industry, cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, whose infrastructure runs over AWS, saw an impact from this outage (4), causing delays in transactions and customer support. Nevertheless, the pain was felt well beyond Coinbase, causing issues with consumer applications like iRobot, Adobe Spark, Roku, Flickr and even Amazon’s own security business, Ring. The root cause, disclosed by Amazon in a very detailed explanation (5), was essentially human error.

Far from being on their own, Amazon’s chief competitors have experienced their own incidents. Microsoft faced capacity issues in Europe on their Azure platform in March (6), where their customers were unable to spin up new virtual servers, a key and critical benefit to public cloud services. In a post-mortem, Microsoft acknowledged that the issue was due to massive surges in traffic stemming from COVID-19 (7).

Bottomline, your public cloud provider remaining up and stable is vital. When your system is set up with the internet as the only channel for access to your cloud-based market data, you are leaving yourself and your mission critical operations open to issues like fiber cuts, DDoS attacks and more.

In August of this year, Lumen Technology, previously known as CenturyLink, experienced a 5 hour long outage (8). Lumen own significant chunks of the internet’s backbone, thus this incident ultimately impacted scores of websites and services, including cloud providers. Among the list of companies who experienced some level of downtime due to this service issue were Amazon, Microsoft’s Xbox Live service, Twitter, Hulu, Cloudflare and more.

What comes next?

Let’s assume you’re going to stick with at least some public cloud services. You need to ensure you maximize your ability to access these services when you need to. And of course, accessing services via the internet isn’t a binary up/down scenario: there are no service level agreements (SLAs) for uptime or latency and you run the risk of experiencing significantly degraded service, especially during the busiest or most critical times.

IPC can solve this problem for you.

The IPC Connexus Cloud provides access to over 550 Cloud Service Providers and public clouds and comes with industry-leading SLAs for uptime and latency. By relying on IPC’s private cloud, you can establish a secure connection to our diverse and global financial ecosystem and reliably access your public clouds.

The Connexus Cloud is a fully managed Network as a Service (NaaS) with Points of Presence in over 130 locations globally. Using our world-class MPLS backbone, IPC can establish private network capabilities into your locations, wherever they might be located around the world, and use those connections to get you to Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft Azure or any of the 550+ other public cloud providers we have access to.

Connexus Extranet, IPC’s Layer 3 extranet solution, has been built to the exacting specifications of capital markets participants, as have all of IPC’s innovative solutions. Let IPC use our expertise in managed network solutions to help get you to your mission-critical public cloud services.

Links:

  1. https://www.ipc.com/insights/blog/advantages-of-a-private-network-part-1/
  2. https://www.ipc.com/insights/blog/advantages-of-a-private-network-part-2/
  3. https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/amazon-web-services-outage-stymies-businesses/2020/11/25/b54a6106-2f4f-11eb-860d-f7999599cbc2_story.html
  4. https://cointelegraph.com/news/coinbase-warns-users-of-connectivity-issues-due-to-amazon-aws-outage
  5. https://aws.amazon.com/message/11201/
  6. https://www.zdnet.com/article/european-users-reporting-theyre-hitting-azure-capacity-constraints/
  7. https://status.dev.azure.com/_event/181122901/post-mortem
  8. https://blog.catchpoint.com/2020/09/03/centurylink-outage-and-everything-that-went-down-with-it/

© 2020 IPC Systems, Inc. All Rights Reserved. The contents of this publication are intended for general information purposes only and should not be construed as legal or regulatory advice.